Massachusetts school sends home permission slips for Pledge of Allegiance
by TexasGOPVote on December 23, 2010 at 5:48 PM
The letter a principal at The Edward Devotion School sent to parents read:
Dear Devotion Families,
Many of you are aware that Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 71, Section 69, requires a flag to be displayed in each school classroom. This law also requires classes to be lead in a group recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. Public Schools of Brookline policy provides that this recitation may take place weekly.
Additionally, as part of that Massachusetts History/Social Science frameworks and the Brookline Learning Expectations (BLE) there is a learning objective that students be able to "Demonstrate understanding that there are important American symbols by identifying ... the words of the Pledge of Allegiance."
In order to meet the state legal mandate for public schools and to support our learning expectations, I will, once a week, as part of my morning announcements, recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. Classroom teachers, as with any announcement, will bring the class to silence. Students and teachers may choose to stand and recite the pledge but are not legally required to do so.
Under our Constitution, neither teachers nor students can be mandated to participate in this exercise. This is each person's personal choice. I urge you to have a conversation as a family to help your children understand why I will be reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and to support them in feeling comfortable and confident in the decision on whether or not to participate.
Whatever decision you and your child make will be fully respected. Please fill out the section below and return to your child's homeroom teacher. I anticipate that we will begin recitation of the Pledge after the New Year.
On a personal note, I am proud to be a first generation Cuban American and I appreciate the opportunities my family has found in our great nation.
It is Massachusetts state law for teachers to lead their classes in daily pledges at the start of school, so what is the point of this "permission slip?" Since the school has not recited the pledge in over seven years, isn't the principal in violation of the law, and bringing attention to that fact by writing this letter? Plus, since when do you have to explain in detail to parents why their children are reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at school? This is America!